SAP SE (NYSE:SAP) will invest $500 million in Africa through 2020 and train 10,000 IT consultants as the world’s largest maker of business management software aims to make the region one of its top five growth markets.

SAP is among a large number of multinational technology companies, including International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), which have established bases in the continent as demand for their products and services rises in the region. Africa is home to one of the largest populations of young people on the globe and its population is expected to double by 2050.

"The African market is unique in its growth potential and readiness to innovate ... now is the right time to take our engagement and commitment to expand in Africa to the next level,” Robert Enslin, member of the executive board of SAP, said in a statement. Enslin and Pfungwa Serima, SAP Africa CEO, spoke about the company's investment plans at a media conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Washington, UNITED STATES (L-R) U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice leads a panel discussion on infrastructure with Coca-Cola's CEO Muhtar Kent, Harith Fund Managers' CEO Tshepo Mahloele, Blackstone's CEO Stephen Schwarzman, IBM's CEO Virginia Rometty and Econet Wireless' Founder and Chairman Strive Masiyiwa during the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in Washington August 5, 2014. The forum is part of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit bringing nearly fifty African heads of state together for three days of meetings and events. Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Africa will have the largest working-age population in the world by 2040, larger than China or India, and consumer spending in its cities is expected to triple by 2030, reaching US$2.2 trillion, according to a report by KPMG.

The company has a strong presence in South Africa and much of the new investment will be made in other parts of Africa, according to the statement.

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